Match-fixing seems to be an inevitable part of the nature of sports competitions, and while the sports betting industry may share some of the blame – after all, why rig a game unless you stand to benefit from a bet you have made – the industry is precisely why match-fixing attempts are often caught.
This is precisely what is happening in the case of the Dundee versus Hearts derby, which took place at Dens Park the Saturday before last. The Scottish Football Association (SFA) has already received signals from betting agencies that certain elements of the match may have been fixed, with the Hearts winning the game with 1-0, thanks to a shot from Jamie Walker.
However, the issue seems to lie in the fact that unusual amounts of bets were placed on individual players to get booked. That is when a referee issues a yellow card to a player for breaking the rules during play.
Referee Willie Collum issued yellow cards to Max Anderson, Leigh Griffiths, Paul McGowan, and Danny Mullen, coinciding apparently with an unusual number of bets that to happen.
Why the Match-Fixing Hubbub?
Thanks to a partnership between the SFA and betting agencies, detecting irregularities in betting behaviors relevant to actual sporting events has become easier, although proving fault from any party remains a highly complicated and sensitive process.
However, SFA’s betting partners are confident they have enough to go on to raise the issue at the highest level. The issue has to do with the betting amounts placed on selections that should have otherwise remained fairly under the radar, the report says.
The first step in identifying potential fault is for the SFA Security and Integrity Unit to investigate whether there has been any foul play, to begin with. If that turns out to be the case, then the SFA’s compliance officers will get involved.
Taking Time to Look into the Matter
One of the people to investigate the matter should there be enough evidence to mandate a fully-fledged probe would be the Security and Integrity officer Martin Stolarek who is engaged with raising awareness about match-fixing but also takes an active part in solving match-fixing investigations.
Neither of the teams has made a comment on the situation, and the Hearts were not aware that any investigation was ongoing, the Daily Mail wrote. Anti-match-fixing efforts have proven successful over the past years, with many athletes getting suspended by international bodies.
One drawback of such investigations has been the fact that most of those match-fixing cases are caught much later than they occur. Sportradar, a global sports data and tech giant, which pays particular attention to the integrity of sporting competitions, has warned about the increasingly sophisticated nature of how sports frauds occur.